COVID-19 AND THE CHANCE OF LEARNING
Therefor that I wasn’t only a soldier in a German signal batalion, but also an educated musican (discipline oboe, english horn, saxophone and composition), learning CW was for me an easy doing. CW was like percussion for me, rythm, an other musical language. And practice with 20wpm on a „Vibroplex Champion“ was more than only fun for me.
But you perhaps know the proverb, „The devil is a squirrel!“. And so I went sick in cororanic-heart-deseases based on malign vascoactive type of cancer (Van-Hippel-Lindau syndrom). It begans with a early infarction in the age of 30 and my first stroke with 41. 2004, when I was 48, my brain was killed by another stroke and I lost all my seven languages, which I used in my duty over many years. I had to learn to hear human language again, cause I heard only splattering noises, when someone talked to me. I had to learn again, to use my lipps and my tounge again, to form tunes and articulate myself, and even to say, that I need some to dring, when I was thursty. I had to learn reading and writing again! It was a hard time, to be fully clear in concious and unable to comunicate.
My professional practice in telecomunication was more a disciplin in frequencies above 5 GHz and a joke in my batallion said, that all frequencies below were only modulated DC. But sometimes I was demanded to use my „Vibroplex Champion“ and to „hack“ messages into the air. We were drilled in strickt kind of communication, mostly crypted by our experts. But the melodic chant of CW was like a drug for me. It was more a passion like a hobby.
When I returned to Ham-Radio in 2018, the first time under my callsign DK2VH, I wasn’t sure, wether I could return to CW again. By my illness (an aphasy) I have the problem, that I couldn’t „listen“ CW and „write down“ simultanous. When I move my hand for writing, I doesn’t hear anything. And when I am concentrated to listen CW, I couldn’t move my hands (I am able to write left-hand and right-hand as well, cause I am a born ambidexter). And by this circumstances I restarted CW in a course by DL1IAY, OM Andy, in Mainz, together with my friend Carlo, DG6FFG. But I saw, that I never should reach to the demanded 12 wpm – listening and writing on paper simultanous – so I think, it is approved for me, to use technical tools like „fldigi“ to „copy-write“ the text in speeds up to 35 – 40 wpm. But I like to use my paddles! And so I train to speed up „writing CW“ on a MFJ-564 (a simple jambic-key, good for beginners, cause it could also used for „squeezed keying“) and startet 2018 on an IC-735, which I changed to an IC-7100 (used over years by Carlo, DG6FFG). But a few weeks ago, my IC-7100 was „retired“ – a defect in the DSP killed the digi-mode perspectives. So I decided to return to an old „workhorse“ of ICOM, the IC-718, what technically is a maritime radio-equipment under MIL-standard. It is old-fashioned technology of the early 90th of the last century. But it have a brilliant signal quality in CW and RTTY. And that was it, what I looked for.
In the months ago I had some very nice CW-qso’s in QRS (speed below 20 wpm) with OMs round in Europe. And it was funny for me, not only to use standard texts, also „free talking“ in CW and together with Carlo, we chanted also Carlo Colodis „Le avventure di Pinocchio“ in Italian with our jambic keys. It was funny! And so Im still learning. I wouldnt be a professional telegraphist again, that is what I know! But we OMs in Ham-Radios also are amateurs, no professionals. And when my fldigi odr DM780 „make my soundcard sing“ and tuned CW with 30 wpm, it isn’t the same, as my CW-handwriting on my jambic key.
As a professional telegraphist, this kind of handwriting was very important for our job, to identify, who is keying overthere! And the typical synthetic mechanical keying in present doesn’t allow me, to recognize, who is keying. Anonymous keying, mostly. I hear a callsign, but didn’t see a face … never see a smile, when some ironic phrases are used. And that seems to me, that we loose a lot of culture. So what. I try to return back to the roots. Using my MFJ-564 instead of fldigi or DM780. And using the brilliant clear sound of my IC-718, when I try to keying „free text“ in QRS, not only standardized QSO-texts.
I hope, You may agree to me, and we see us on any HF-band in CW for a extensive QSO in QRS.
73 and stay healthy in such strange times. Best wishes also for your family.
Your Veit, DL1MKK